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Second round of mass-testing NATs set for Friday and Saturday

NATs for entire city once again, despite no new cases; Grand Prix and Food Festival can go ahead if Macao gets clean bill of health this time.

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NATs for entire city once again, despite no new cases; Grand Prix and Food Festival can go ahead if Macao gets clean bill of health this time.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:36 am

Macao is headed for a second round of mass-testing on Friday and Saturday – despite no positive Covid-19 cases being found in the most recent city-wide drive which ended at 11 am today and tested 725,000 people.

Once again, everyone in the city will be required to undergo a nucleic acid test (NAT), although babies born on or after 4 November 2021 are exempted.

Five rapid antigen tests (RAT) are being distributed (including for babies under 1 year old), and everyone is required to take one today, tomorrow and on Friday and upload their results.

Leong Iek Hou, Head of Division of Prevention Communicable Diseases from the Health Bureau said: “This second massive round of tests is to guarantee the safety of Macao and  help the recovery of the economy. Essentially, it’s to guarantee the security of the community.

“If no cases in the community are found after the second mass-test we do not plan to have any more. And if no cases are detected the Macau Grand Prix and Food Festival can go ahead.”

While the mass-testing was mandatory, officials said 5,697 people still have not undergone an NAT and their Macao Health Codes have turned yellow. If they do not comply by 3 pm tomorrow, their health codes will turn red.

More than 70 NAT stations will swing into action once again from 7 am on Friday morning until midnight. Testing will run from 7 am till 6 pm on Saturday.

Travel has slowed considerably since yesterday, with 49 per cent fewer Macao residents crossing the border, visitor numbers falling by 62 per cent and 27 per cent fewer non-resident workers staying put.

In related news, the MGM Cotai hotel has reopened because everyone tested there proved negative. Most of the 1,501 guests and staff who were confined at the hotel have returned home, although 81 close contacts remain under medical observation.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:36 am

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